Psychologist says alleged cop killer has psychotic disorder

SHARE Psychologist says alleged cop killer has psychotic disorder

Bryant Brewer / Cook County Jail

A clinical psychologist testified Friday that Bryant Brewer, accused of killing Chicago Police Officer Thor Soderberg, suffers from a psychotic disorder.

Joan Leska, who was called on the stand by defense attorneys, said she diagnosed Bryant Brewer as having a condition that falls into the spectrum of mental illnesses that includes schizophrenia.

Brewer’s lawyers have argued that he was not sane when he shot 43-year-old Soderberg with officer’s service revolver outside the former Englewood District police station at 61st and Racine on July 7, 2010.

Mental health experts who testified for Cook County prosecutors in previous hearings, however, have maintained that all the 29-year-old suffers from is an anti-social personality disorder.

During a cross-examination, Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Sexton pointed to how Brewer manipulated jail workers with his behavior so he could be placed in a division he preferred.

Sexton also referenced Brewer’s profanity-laced testimony from the day before.

Brewer didn’t respect Judge Timothy Joyce when he was on the stand, nor did he respect Leska when she was interviewing him to prepare for his bench trial, Sexton said.

“Wouldn’t you say, his disrespectful behavior toward authority is a sign of an anti-social personality disorder?” Sexton asked Leska, reminding her that Brewer was agitated and cursed at her during their sessions.

“I think Mr. Brewer felt threatened,” Leska said.

Leska said that Brewer, who once bit a fellow inmate and was bitten himself, has not been taking anti-psychotic medication since the beginning of 2015.

Sexton kept focusing on Brewer’s purported hatred of the police because of his various arrests.

“You don’t have to be mentally ill to hate the police, do you?” Sexton asked Leska.

Leska responded “no,” but also stressed that she did not know Brewer’s mental status at the time of the deadly shooting.

Leska was the only witness testifying in the trial on Friday.

More mental health experts are expected to take the stand when the trial resumes next week.

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